| Primary School Agriculture - Vol. II: Background Information |
This volume II of the manual on "Primary School Agriculture" provides factual information on questions which may arise when teaching agriculture. It should only be used together with volume I, Pedagogy. It consists of three parts:
- Farming Methods,
- Crop Storage.
Part one, Farming Methods, is intended as a documentation on various agricultural methods. In the first section, the objectives are discussed, i.e. why pupils should learn about farming methods and what results are to be achieved.
This is followed by information about traditional farming, covering such topics as clearing and tilling, planting and sowing, weeding and tending, and, most important of all, multiple cropping and crop rotation. Teachers will find ample information about these aspects of traditional farming. Thus, it should be easy for them to study farming activities near the school and to contrast them with distant regions.
The section on traditional agriculture ends with a number of observation questionnaires and survey instruments to guide teachers in outdoor observational activities concerning traditional farming.
The next section deals with Agriculture. It compares modern agriculture as practised in the industrialized countries with the Scientific Agriculture advanced in the subject of-"Rural Sciences" and with traditional agriculture.
The last section outlines recent developments in tropical agriculture, showing that there is a general tendency to encourage a new and unbiased approach to traditional African farming. Some of the most interesting research results in this area have been summarized; the section ends with suggestions on how to experiment with this new approach in school.
Part two, entitled Crops, should be used when a teacher needs information about the crops to be grown on the farm. Twelve crops are treated in a standard manner with illustrations of each of them. The main topics covered on the individual crops are:
- the plant,
- farming the crop,
It provides general information on the range of yields per hectare, showing how much crop yields can vary according to natural conditions and tending.
Finally, there is an analytic table of English vocabulary relating to the main crops.
Part three treats Crop Storage. Again, it gives an account of traditional and simple, modern methods of storage and pest control. The language level is such that the teachers may use it as reading material in the final classes. Its many illustrations enhance the information contained in the text.
Parts I and II were written by Herbert Bergmann, while part III was written by Richard Butler.
This manual could not have been written without the help of many people who cannot all be named here.
Special thanks are due to the Government of the United Republic of Cameroon who made my stay in their beautiful country possible, and to the Cameroonian educational authorities who supported IPAR research and pilot project work in Environmental Studies with patience, sound advice, and invaluable administrative assistance, as well as to the German Agency for Technical Cooperation which agreed to fund this follow-up work to the project.
I am greatly indebted to Mr. V.J. Divine, a member of the senior staff at IPAR-Buea, who taught me a great deal about Cameroonian agriculture and Rural Science, and who gracefully submitted himself to the rigours of extensive field research.
I would also like to mention the contributions of those Cameroonian teachers, colleagues, and friends who participated in the IPAR-Buea school farm scheme and attended the respective seminars. Their contributions in the form of written material and discussion have helped to make the manual what it is.
I am equally grateful to Mr. R. Butler for his readiness to place his expert knowledge on crop storage at the disposal of teachers and pupils. Miss P. Smithson's and Miss Germann's art work deserves special mention; it facilitates the reading and complements a large part of the text.
I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. and Mrs. Greenland who edited the manuals as far as language is concerned and, last but not least, to Mrs. H. Winkler who never lost spirit in what sometimes was a very tedious job typing and correcting the manuscript.